Research terminology

When discussing a set of glyphs as complex and detailed as those left behind by the bahro, it is important to have a common technical vocabulary that everyone can easily use and understand. Definitions for bahroglyph terminology can be found below; you may see these terms used frequently in forum discussion, and we encourage you to adopt them so that all can communicate freely and effectively!

  • sequence - a set of scenes that is meant to be considered a narrative unity.
    Example: the Fountain Sequence (Scenes 1-5)
  • panel - a scene that is part of a sequence.
    Example: the Kadish Tolesa panel from the Fountain Sequence (Scene 1)
  • scene - a depiction of an episode consisting of more than one glyph; an image that is whole unto itself.
    Example: the Bahro Gathering scene (Scene 6)
  • register: localized area within a scene, smaller narrative unit that composes a scene.
    Example: the slave caves depicted in the lower left of the Teledahn panel (Scene 5)
  • glyph - a mark or arrangement of marks that is perceived to constitute a single design.
    Example: bahro, slave, Maintainer suit, Mourning Eye
  • symbol - a glyph, usually abstract in character, that represents another entity by resemblance, association, or convention.
    Example: Mourning Eye, Spiral Cross


Symbol dictionary

Mourning Eye by Domahreh
This multi-layered symbol reifies a variety of ocular functions, both on the physical and metaphysical level. It symbolizes physical sight; if the Bahro existed as a slave class, they would have observed the D'ni in every walk of life, even while they were not seen (or not meant to be seen) themselves. It symbolizes moral sight; while the D'ni either overlooked or thought little of the enslavement of ahrotahn peoples, the Bahro were first-hand witnesses of the darker side of D'ni and the injustices of slavery. And it symbolizes mourning, over those very injustices. It is a powerful statement that the Bahro chose this symbol to represent themselves -- even while the eye is weeping, it is wide open -- sadness and justice exist side by side. Though they were stripped of their freedoms and rights at every level, they could not be robbed of their freedom to look, to see, to observe. Self-representation through the Mourning Eye is both an act of resistance (the Eye stares unflinchingly at its D'ni oppressors) and an act of remembrance (the Eye pays respect to the troubled and troubling history of the Bahro).

Spiral Cross by Deius
The spiral represents a journey, as it does in Zandi/Yeesha's Spiral Hand symbol. The four dots represent the bahro poles, powerful totems for the bahro, representing both their freedom and all that was taken from them. The poles are in their rightful places, surrounding and guarding the journey, shaping it. The four spokes represent the fissures in the bahro cave floor that divide the cave into its four quadrants, one for each Age in the journey of the Called. The central spiral also corresponds to the hole in the bahro cave floor that leads to the cavern below -- a vertiginous drop, a leap of faith, and the completion of the journey. As this glyph is found twice in the pipe leading to Teledahn's slave caves, it is likely a representation of hope -- for a time when all that has been taken from the bahro will be returned, when the bahro people will be whole and complete again.